December 14, 2013

the opposite effect

Vanessa: American Apparel body suit; H&M shorts; Flannel shirt from a random shop in Hong Kong
Dané: Tate Vest, Urban Outfitters faux leather skirt, H&M belt

We do not wear coordination well. The words that came to mind for this shoot were 'simple' and black' and clearly we both had different interpretations of this to say the least (this tends to happen quite a bit). Vanessa's bodysuit, as rad as it may be, has caused her much grief. Lets just say our nights out on the town were a bit of a hassle when it came to having to use the ladies room..I made a slight effort to tighten my vest down with a belt however certain things are just relentless in nature..

comments from the peanut gallery: "Dane can you at least try to look sexy?.."
me: "how..?"

I like it when it's awkward.

December 4, 2013

'cause I always drop the bass: the trials and tribulations of a half-shaved head

I am not a brave person when it comes to changing my hair: the only reason why I have the hairstyle I do today is completely due to my laziness to go for regular trims at the salon. I shaved off half of my ass-length hair one and a half years ago; it was both the best and worst hair-related decision I have made thus far. Now that I have decided to grow it back (some of you -- nay, most -- may rejoice), I would like to impart whatever wisdom I have managed to glean from such a reckless decision. 

Okay truth is, I'll just miss it like hell and have therefore decided to dedicate a post to my hair. 

"My face is too wide. D'you think I can actually pull this off??" x 10000 to every Tom, Dick and Harry that seemed even halfway capable of giving an opinion. The amount of deliberation to finally arrive at getting a massive undercut is unfathomable: the Japanese lady who had the dubious honor of first snip was more apprehensive about the whole issue than I ever was. 

"Are you sure? You have such nice, long hair!"
"Just do it." 
She screamed louder than I did.

Albeit a seemingly irrevocable mistake, I felt a huge rush of relief. It's good to do something stupid with our hair while we're still young; it's a rite of passage. I've never bleached my hair or gotten ridiculous colors due to having a mother who vehemently opposed anything of the sort, so this is what happened instead (hey look ma, no hair!). I'd hazard a guess she'd vastly prefer me with blue hair than be missing half of it. 

Oddly enough, having half of my considerably-sized noggin not constantly hidden beneath a forest of hair (a futile attempt to hide my wide bone structure) forced me to finally accept what I hated about my looks the most. Consequentially, the rest of my insecurities and my desire to emulate the common standard of beauty (smoky eyes, nude lips, poofy hair, perfectly groomed eyebrows, push-up bra, short dress) fell away as easily as my hair did to the ground. I was no longer what men deemed "attractive" in the general sense; why stress about it any longer? In order to fully embrace myself, I had to completely and totally negate whatever the hell I thought was supposed to be attractive to other people. I started dressing for myself, doing my make up for myself -- I was far less afraid to capitalize on my own desires in regards to how I wanted to look. I guess you can say it was the first of many steps to feeling comfortable in my own skin. 

I do realize there's nothing even remotely groundbreaking about an undercut, but shaving off any portion of my hair was a huge stretch for someone who watched all of her hairdressers like a hawk to ensure they didn't trim more than an inch off her glorious mane. You'd be hard-pressed to find somebody as chickensh*t as I was in regards to radical hairstyles. A bad experience in the fourth grade had traumatized me enough: let's leave it at the word "sideburns". Conversations such as "hey Vanessa, can I ask you something?" "Yeah, what?" "Why are you so ugly?" "... I don't know" put me off of anything deemed unpopular.  

It may have taken some extreme measures to finally accept myself, flaws and whatnot, but I can say I am an infinitely better person for it. Confidence is a lengthy and arduous journey: take it from somebody who has struggled with an eating disorder since she was eleven. Present Vanessa can rock dark purple/black lipstick,  no problem. Something totally abnormal, strange and borderline ugly? Bring it on. It's not so much how something looks than how you feel about it. 

Now for some semi-practical advice on having an undercut: 

1. Don't be shy with your make up: the bolder, the better.
2. What doesn't work, will grow out.
3. What's done is done. You have no choice but to rock the living hell out of it. Remember, you are in a most advantageous position. 
4. Invest in a hair clipper and bug your friends to shave your head instead of going to the salon every. Other. Week. 
5. It's easy to cover up if you only shave one-third of it.
6. Girls, you will finally understand why boys are so anal about getting haircuts all the time. It ain't called a fresh fade for nothin'.
7. Enjoy a harmless smirk to yourself every now and then when you encounter girls who tried to fake an undercut. Pussies.
8. Donate your hair to organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society or Locks of Love. Shaving your head should, in a perfect world, always be a choice. 

I may not know how I am going to grow this out, nor do I have the slightest idea how ridiculous I may or may not appear upon going through that awkward fluffy grow-out phase, but I have zero regrets. Barring all the "love the hair, dude", "wtf did you do to your head cover it right now", to a few silent-but-determined attempts to flip my hair over the offending bald spot, it's been a sick run.
Do what you want to do and own it. There is no other way to exist. 

November 28, 2013


Vanessa: H&M hat; vintage crop top; Diesel watch
Dané: Forever 21 necklace; vintage bustier; Wilfred silk shorts

There should be some sort of unspoken rule that all fridge-raiding activities must occur sans pants. Being a bum automatically dictates that one should be in underwear. Case in point: both of your favorite bloggers showed up half-dressed upon deciding that our location of choice today was to be my very ill-stocked fridge. 

"I'm kind of not wearing an outfit outfit..."
"It's okay. I'm not wearing any pants."


October 21, 2013


I am technologically clueless: the crowning example being that I adamantly refused to part with my dilapidated Blackberry 9700 until it stopped working altogether and I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the alien world of touchscreen phones. Front camera? All the better to #selfie with, my dear. I probably spent about three hours taking pictures of myself, pleased as punch I no longer had to trial-and-error my way into being photogenic. At the risk of sounding like some unfortunately backwards caveman, I was tossed into social media sensory overload once I converted to an iPhone (Twitter! Instagram! Tumblr!) The social media world suddenly took on more color: every aspect of the lives of everyone I knew, sort-of knew, disliked, and haven't the slightest clue about, presented in all their crystal-clear retina display glory with as much pomp and circumstance as you please.

I now take pictures of food before I eat it. I update my Twitter with mainly self-centered, surely intellectually-detrimental and occasionally vacuous statements.  I have a hashtag for my own goddamn cooking. I #selfie'd. And there was one slightly shameful period where I attempted to exercise and posted all of my "healthy" cooking, Mayfair filter and all, replete with #healthyeating hashtags. I still sigh in relief that I at least had the common sense not to post any pictures of myself in a sports bra and earphones, weights conveniently placed so they lie in a picturesque (but nonchalant!!) pile in the lower left corner of a full-length mirror and then: #fitness #progress #squatlow #dropitlow #strongisthenewskinny (an arguable statement, but I digress) #motivation #liftheavyorgohome. Also shopping bags. I did not post any shopping bags. 

.... Okay, so maybe this is going to be focused on Instagram.

The initial (fine, eight-month-long) fascination I had with this particular social media outlet is beginning to wear off. I found myself getting increasingly annoyed while scrolling through my news feed, but for the life of me couldn't figure out why. Even now, I feel I won't be able to put my finger on the exact reason as successfully as I wish, so you may in for a bit of a convoluted read.

Perhaps it's best to start with a real-life example. 

Imagine a post of a normal, nondescript fruit salad.
Not particularly staged nor well-photographed; grapes, haphazardly cut melons, strawberries... 

Now, imagine comments regarding the aforementioned salad: 
"OMGAWD grapes!!!" 
"So ahmaayyzing" 
"I wish I had a salad like that" (I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but you totally can?)

Now, I don't mean to belittle anyone's taste in salad, nor do I mean to be insulting when confronted with the possibility of someone else's overwhelming affection for grapes, and I would never dream of poking fun at you if a bowl of fruit so happens to be the very thing that gets you off. But how "ahmaayyzing" is it really?

I'm afraid this poor bowl of fruit now has one more responsibility to bear asides from ruling the hearts of a few ardent fans and offending my sensibilities: while I don't take these comments seriously (some people must feel strongly about fruit, I'd imagine), the almost physically-tangible cloak of idiocy surrounding this picture pretty much ignited a strange WTF epiphany moment. The salad pissed me off, yes. But at least now I have a clearer idea of why I am generally pissed off upon entering our filtered wonderland of selfies and dinners. 

We've turned into a generation of attention whores and humble braggers: sadly (and not always consciously) clamoring to gauge our self-worth in the form of likes and followers. Our social media feeds serve as digital portfolios of every new acquisition: clothes, cars, a bag from some poor bastard; we show off how fit we are, how dedicated we are, how healthy we are, how successful we are. And need I mention the ubiquitous vacation photo, where all we see are some girl's upper thighs pointing towards a blue sky and palm trees with the following hashtags or others in a similar vein: #gettingatan #whathappensinvegas #staysinvegas?

Social media creates this inexplicable need (not to mention makes exceedingly easy) to show everyone how perfect our lives are. The sad thing is, they're not. The fucked up thing is, people will still believe us. We are constantly shoving the most glorious parts of our lives into our social media accounts whilst bathing in the secondhand fortunes of others doing the same. As a blogger, social media pretty much makes up the entirety of what we do, and one of the most annoying things I have discovered is that we tend to make things look/sound much better than they actually are. e.g. "Hey, we're having so much fun at this attention whore convention!! LOOK AT THIS GUYS" Well, no... no, it wasn't that awesome. But thanks to a few strategically taken shots at great angles and a hazy filter, it sure as hell looks like it. Lesson learned: no matter how it may look, nobody is shitting rainbows and riding unicorns. Our own humble patch of grass may be green enough, but everyone else's seems to have a fucking villa on it sporting a moat and a flock of flamingos.  

Now, I am in no way suggesting that something like a fruit bowl, however well-executed it may be, is a beacon of personal achievement. But we fall into the trap of believing the glamorization of everyone else's digitally edited lives that we start to covet what we do not own, the lifestyles we do not have, the people we cannot be. This idolatry has spun so out of control that we not only admire somebody, but we think it's okay to unabashedly display a shameless desire to emulate everything they have, be it their lunch or the shit coming out their ass. It seems that what's admired and what isn't is so skewed from all the subtle (or not-so-subtle) bragging we do that it has created a mentality unique to our generation: we want what other people have, with more fervor than ever before. We want, even more so, for other people to want what we have; and in order for people to want what we have, we feel that we need to have what they have. It's a vicious cycle, overflowing with victims of both heady narcissism and debilitating insecurity/envy (have I lost you yet?).

What else explains an Instagram photo of designer shopping bags/boxes (at least show us what's inside)? A handbag, jacket or similar purchases, carefully laid out with tags intact, captioned with something like "I couldn't resist #newbaby #shopaholic #badhabit"? A #bossy hashtag following a photo of something a girl bought herself, independent of male aid (it doesn't make you a boss. It just means you fall into that happy place most decent people occupy of not being a golddigging whore). A "progress photo" after 3 days at the gym? How about the much beloved/hated post of #selfie infamy, posted with a carefully self-deprecating caption along with a clusterfuck of hashtags that contradict the whole humility thing: "being a ragamuffin today #selfie #asian #girl #smile #bedhead #nomakeupnoproblem #mornings #hot #cute #awesome #ighunnies"? ...What gives?


1. The acceptance speech 

That "thanks to my boyfriend for the bouquet of roses and #Tiffany charm bracelet! #luckygirl #sohappy #inlove #boyfriend #couple" isn't, as I'm sure we all realize, so much as a thank you than the digital equivalent of driving around with a loudspeaker. I'm certain there are more private and arguably more satisfying ways to display affection and gratitude towards a significant other. An Instagram post is a pretty shitty way to show gratitude. I mean, that's really the only reason why someone would do this, right? Because they haven't done it in person already? And their phones suddenly couldn't call/text/WhatsApp/BBM/Facebook message, but can only upload pictures? You received a gift, not an Oscar. Nobody needs to hear you thank anyone except for that one single person who deserves it. 

2. The retail catalog

New bag? Have some class: rock it in an outfit instead of tastelessly putting the bag, its dust bag, the shopping bag it came in, tissue paper and gift wrap on display. All it's missing is the receipt. (I'm going to put what little faith I have left in humanity and assume that nobody includes the receipt). Do yourself a favor and just don't. It's tacky. Not to mention will probably have better photos of it from multiple angles (plus there's zoom!) 

3. The like-motivated instathlete

Posting pictures of ourselves at the gym does not, sadly, make us any more fit. Nor do #fitness hashtags. Nor does a holier-than-thou, self-righteous attitude. One may argue that it helps with the whole issue of accountability: but incredibly, people were working out before we had social media. #gains were had, even without updating 500 people who probably don't need to know, nor give half a flying fuck about, your work out routine or how many days you've completed on your #30daysquatchallenge. Groundbreaking stuff, really (don't forget, you heard it here first). In a nutshell: ladies, boys will check out an ass if said ass is a nice ass. This is a fact of life that's as unshakable as how much they also like tits. There's no need to stress out and be all, "but they need to know HOW MANY SQUATS I'VE DONE!!!" And to those with drastic results who want to show it off? Go nuts, you've earned it and then some. Just don't try to give us any unsolicited details as to how you got there. Sometimes a little mystique goes a fucking long way.

4. The shitty cheftographer

As for me, I should probably try to eat my food more than I document it. I mean, nobody really needs to witness most of my culinary struggles. Most people eat three meals a day, and that's hardly momentous enough of an occasion to warrant a picture. Breakfast! Lunch! Dinner! If your food looks like shit, don't post it. Even if it doesn't, I'm sure nobody really cares. I've definitely been guilty of the "DON'T TOUCH IT YET LET ME TAKE A PICTURE" as well as the accompanying extensive ingredient list that for some reason, a lot of us seem to think is necessary. At least I don't do the whole #wifey #gf #homemaker #cook #suchagoodgirl #becauseicanholdafryingpan #microwavemaster #putaringonme #prettyplease? Have I redeemed myself a little? Not really? Okay. 

What is social media, really? A place where everyone and anyone is a self-proclaimed digital celebrity; a place to scrutinize and be scrutinized; a place where attention equals currency. Ultimately, simply a place where we flaunt our shit to other people and creep on the shit other people flaunt. Profound, no? Having said that, allow me to return yet again to the example of our much-esteemed fruit bowl: it's a fucking bowl of fruit. Let us all not be so easily impressed and take it with a grain of salt. 

September 6, 2013

basic, as in simple

(because anyone who uses the word "basic" as an insult are usually no different from their object of disdain)

Vanessa: Yankees cap; American Apparel tank; Abercrombie shorts; Zara heels
Dané: Brandy Melville bralette and tank; Rag & Bone jeans; Club Monaco socks; Converse sneakers

In a rare attempt to have some outfit coordination/cohesion for this post, Dané and I decided to dress in our "basics." The funny thing about a common theme is that we will always interpret it differently. As Dané sauntered into my house as if she's ready for camping and pizza, it struck me that despite our "theme", we were still hilariously mismatched. Somehow I still felt (and probably looked) more dressed up despite sporting the most basic of basic outfits: a cap, sheer white tank and threadbare denim shorts. Our point? Expressing a renewed appreciation of the formula for insta-fancy: add heels and wear lipstick. 

August 29, 2013

BVH unhooked

I have a very faint memory of myself rambling to a bemused Victor about how much I enjoyed his "angry emo music." As my impressive lingo must have demonstrated, I had but a dim awareness of the mind-twisting, dopamine-charged, chills-down-your-spine rollercoaster that is the humble world of dance music. Fast-forward two years, Brad and I are chasing after tagging along with Sean Tyas as he walks to a parking lot after his show: Brad, asking what I'm assuming are educated/musicky questions while I was just being a total groupie (I'm not too cool to admit it).

Every scene, be it music, fashion or otherwise, has its people: the die-hard fans, the "bandwagoners", the ones who feign indifference, the ones just along for the ride; the disgraced, the creators, the rebels, the pioneers. The last four categories are the ones who invest their hearts and souls: the ones with admittedly the most to gain but yet still more to lose. Being an artist is not an occupation for the weak of heart (nor mind, for that matter).

Brad and Victor are musicians and artists in the sense that they completely immerse themselves in their craft: be it a mix, remix, mashup, or their own productions. I've witnessed firsthand the hair-pulling frustration (Brad) along with the breathtaking elation (...Brad) one experiences upon being caught in the throes of passion with not a person, but rather instead an idea. Their wholehearted commitment to whatever musical business they lay their hands on is evident in all the minute details. They manage to cobble tracks together in such a way that they tell a story: mysteriously and effortlessly weaving a web of airy coherence that reflects their passion, hard work, creepily spot-on instinct and indisputable talent (click here for proof).

They can rock your socks off. 
They can make you feel like you're floating on a cloud that's being pulled by unicorns
Unicorns breathing rainbows
And here we are, with me attempting to ask them some thought-provoking questions and getting a whole lot of #realtalk. 
Presenting BVH unfiltered, unhooked and unplugged:

Tell me about the origins of BVH. How did you guys meet?

Victor: We met about three years ago. I was [playing at] a couple clubs here and there, and Brad was doing a couple lounges. Brad was doing a regular night down at Circa on Granville strip, and he shot me a message on Facebook: hey, you wanna come out and play one night? So I opened it for him that night, and after my set he asked if I wanted to stay on and jam. And the next day we got together, shared some ideas, did a couple mashups... Then we entered this DJ contest in Richmond and won that, and afterwards just decided to call ourselves Brad and Victor H.

What makes you guys different from each other? 

Brad: My style was more happy, uplifting stuff while Victor liked the dark progressive stuff. When we started playing together, our styles kind of crossed over, and we ended up having more uplifting breakdowns with that aggressive, driving, dark sound.

Ever have any creative differences?

Victor: (laughs) All the time. Brad might try some new sounds that I'm not really fond of yet. He’s like, its gonna be the shit! And I’ll be like no, this ain't gonna fly. Then... he still goes with it (laughs). I just grow to love it right? It works vice versa too. Sometimes we’re playing a set together, and I’ll drop a track -- he’s like, i hate this track! ...Well too bad, we’re playing it. (laughs)
What kind of music do you listen to on your downtime?

VictorPretty much everything. To be honest, I actually listen to the radio quite a bit when I'm driving. I don’t really listen to dance music all that often just because we hear it all the time.
Brad: Right now, I'm a really big fan of Lana Del Rey. I've been listening to her Born to Die album a lot lately. Also a big fan of Ellie Goulding. I love listening to a lot of chillstep, adventure club-ish stuff, but I've also gotten into that kind of nu poptronica that's really big right now in the UK.

Tell me a little bit about your musical direction for the future. What kind of genre are you leaning towards?

Victor: The good thing is that we go under two different aliases that each represent a different sound. Recently, we’ve developed the branding of BVH which is more of a dubby, chillstep and kind of drumstep, even? That's more experimental. [With BVH] we’re working on some bootlegs and just trying to get our  name out there. We're also branding Brad and Victor H. That one’s more -- how would you say it --
Brad: Trance and progressive.
Victor: Yeah, the more mainstream stuff.
Brad: More standard type stuff. My urge to go out and experiment kinda led to making different types of music. But we didn't really want to put the experimental stuff under the Brad and Victor name, because we've established ourselves as more of a trance and progressive group.
Victor: [Our styles are] pretty much the same now. Just one sound.

How important is versatility as opposed to the importance of having a signature sound?

Brad: Growing your sound and experimenting ends up leading into a signature sound. That’s the most important thing: sounding fresh but not like, “what the fuck?” (laughs). When artists experiment with different genres, they learn new elements they can add to their styles. 
Victor: Basically you don't want to be a slave to one genre. 
Brad: The most interesting type of music these days are the ones that have elements from different genres. Sticking to one element gets boring. [With signature sounds] you kind of fall into that. I think a signature sound is more about the overall feel that the artist gives you.

More so a signature vibe than a sound. 

Brad: Yeah. I think people are under the misconception that a signature sound needs to be an actual sound.

What distinguishes your sound from the others? What's your vibe? 

Brad: Probably just danceable.
Victor: Right. Like everyone else isn't danceable!

Only BVH!

Brad: Stuff we make generally has to – you have to be able to play it on a mainstage. It has to be club-ready. There’s a lot of songs I really like that I would never be able to play at a club, but all our songs need to have that club-ready vibe. 

I remember you wanted to play Taylor Swift at the PNE Coliseum for Dooms Halloween night. WTF?

BVH: (laughing) Yesssss.

Any plans for an album?

Victor: Naw, not at the moment.
Brad: Going back to the signature sound [issue], we don’t really know what that is yet. As artists, we feel like its still really early for us. That's why we’re experimenting with things. We’re not completely sure what we’re gonna do.

Have you guys ever received any criticism? 

Brad: I guess the main thing would be that we still haven’t made anything super distinguishable yet. The closest thing we made that was really fresh and new was our remix of tyDi’s Half Light that got played at ASOT 550. Until this day or whatever, people still say that was the freshest thing they heard at the time. But it didn’t get released until a year and a half later, so the hype with that sound kind of died down and people have already started discovering that type of stuff. The biggest criticism we get is probably like, “oh its cool.. but its not amazing”. We haven’t really made anything that I would call a game changer yet. 

Do you think that's a good thing? How do you take it? Are you just like, “fuck you!” or do you take it to heart? 

Victor: It's encouragement.

What do you guys think of the clubbing-slash-EDM scene in Vancouver? Its changed a lot in the past few years. 

Victor: There's definitely a new generation of party-goers that are being exposed to the whole electronic scene; individuals who probably didn’t even know what dance music was and they're growing into it. 
Brad: It's the new influx of EDM listeners and the level of education they have about the music and the scene. You have so many people that have gotten into the music recently and they don’t really know anything – the music they like is what they heard in the club. And then you have people that are crazy about Avicii and whatever, and – you know – before, music was evolving at a much quicker rate. It was a smaller group of more educated listeners which pushed the producers and DJs to innovate and create something new. Since there's a bigger audience right now you know, there’s no demand for innovation. Its just, “ i wanna hear a big build up, and then i want to hear a vocal drop before the drop, and then the drop needs to hit hard, and then it needs to sound like THIS.” Its just a lot of economics, making money. So when people stop demanding that, then [the scene is] gonna change. But until then, it’s not really going to change at all.

If you guys were to headline somewhere, what would you describe as your dream or perfect show? Production, location, anything like that.

Victor: (laughs) I’ve never really put any thought into that. To be honest, like ever. Lasers! 
Brad: Not too many lasers! We've learned that there can be a thing as too many lasers. (laughs)
Victor: There's really no ideal place. As long as the people  enjoy our music, and appreciate what we’re doing and feel our energy -- ‘cause most of the time when we’re playing, we feed off the crowd’s energy. Really, it doesn't matter where we’re playing: my grandma’s basement for like, 10 friends, or a festival for 20,000 people. As long as people are having a good time, that’s all that matters.

Nowadays when DJs/producers come out, a lot of their careers are  built on how well they work social media, how much they promote themselves. What do you think are the pros and cons of that, with you two being part of these new-era kind of producers?

Victor: Well, because everybody’s doing it, you just kinda get weeded out. If you follow lets say, 50 diff producers [on Facebook], they're all spamming every six hours something new; material just gets watered down, right? We do the same thing too. We promote ourselves through social media, spend hours a week sending out emails to promos, blogs and hopefully getting noticed. It's just kind of hard because everybody else is doing it..
Brad: The thing is: everyone’s doing it, but you can’t NOT do it. Which is kind of troublesome at times, knowing that you have to do it but no one’s probably going to listen to it. But if you don’t, then there's always that odd time that, you know, someone DOES listen to it. And to think that they just don’t listen to your stuff is a complete lie. It's just getting lucky, pretty much (laughs).
Victor: With the amount of money people spend too, I mean [such as] the big producers who are on the top 100. They spend thousands of dollars every month on social media. They have a team of people doing it for them, as opposed to start-up producers who are just grinding on their own, trying to think of new ways to catch attention. So its definitely a lot more difficult when you’re first starting off.

So with all of this social media fuss, do you think being successful now as opposed to before requires you to have different different qualities in order to be noticed?

Victor: For sure. Nowadays, being a successful producer is more than just being able to create great music. You have to have a marketing feature. I guess that's the thing that’s really huge as well too. Some people that, I'm not trying to bash anybody –
Brad: -- You brand yourself, pretty much.

So you kind of have to be as good at marketing yourself as you produce your shit.

Brad: Take the soft drink industry. Coke and Pepsi are here because they started a long time ago. All the other soft drinks are just stems off their company. When have you heard of a new soft drink that’s not part of their company? (laughs) Because they control the market. It’s pretty much the same thing with labels too. If you’re not at the top, if you don’t have a big label backing you... It’s pretty much the same stuff.

Does this change the formula for success? If there is a formula for success, what do you think is important for DJs/producers trying to make it big?

Victor: Be humble and be friends with everyone. Don't make any enemies. (laughs)
Brad: I think they should just focus on making good music and learning the craft, the engineering. Worry less about taking selfies and you know, trying to act like you’re big stuff when you don’t even know how to make a single good track. I'm completely guilty of making the same mistakes too. I've tried to hype myself up when I was young and stupid... I was basically a little shit. So, I think a lot of people could learn from that. If you want to be a producer, then get your production down first, then worry about branding and self-image second.  

A few of their latest remixes you need in your ipods/music arsenals to impress people with your discerning taste:

Tania Zygar & Matt Lange - Dark Paradise (BVH Dubstep Remix) [Lana Del Rey Cover]

Ellie Goulding - Burn (BVH Remix)
BT feat. JES - Every Other Way (BVH Remix)

Show some (peace) love (unity, respect):

July 5, 2013

baking 101

Products used: Skin79 Super+ BB cream; Nars Illuminator in Copacabana; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5; Hourglass Illume Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light; Make Up Forever HD High Definition Microfinish Powder; Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion; Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments in Barely Brazen and Breaking Bronze; Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr eyeshadow in Bold Gold; Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash; Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Brown (gel only); Maybelline Big Eyes mascara; Covergirl LineBlast 24 Hour Eyeliner in Enduring Brown; Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Rendezvous and Colorburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti (layered)

Note: The Covergirl eyeliner is horrible. The Maybelline pigments however, do go nuts on. Don't kill me for the exhaustive product list; it's only to give an idea of which products to use as you read on. 

Bright sunlight has the most tactless way of emphasizing bold makeup (Dry skin? Oily skin? Too much powder? Hastily blended eyeshadow? All of that "subtle shimmer" that turns your face into an arts-and-crafts disaster? It's got you, bro.) Being a regular cakeface, I always run into the conundrum of doing my usual full face of makeup and also look somewhat natural in strong daylight. For those of us who are totally fine with just BB cream, mascara and lip balm, that's great. Feel free to skip this and go back to leisurely floating about in your airy no-makeup bubble. For people like myself (unhealthily addicted to makeup), there are a few ways to balance a done-up face in warm weather and not look completely ridiculous -- or conversely, to look fabulously ridiculous and not have it all disappointingly migrate down your face like a statue eroding in acid rain.

1. Eyes: use a good eyeshadow primer (you should be doing this already). I like to let it sink in for 10-15 minutes before I apply any eyeshadow. Stick to eyeshadow colors with warm undertones, because any dominant cool or gloomy colors look out of place (bright colors are fine!) For a smoky eye, it helps to concentrate the color around the lash line and crease.

2. Skin: The most important thing to get right. I like to mix a drop of luminizer with my BB cream, and then apply a small amount of medium coverage liquid foundation on top. This gives the right amount of "glow/dewy" etc. without having it look too undone. Apply finishing powder around the sides of your face and on the eye area, but avoid the areas where light naturally hits your face. If I'm looking for more "dew" then I apply a very light cream luminizer down the center of my nose, under my eyebrow arch and on the cupid's bow. Use bronzer as needed -- I'm sure that's quite obvious. Stay away from products with too much glitter/sparkle for minimal ridiculousness. And for the love of God, save the contouring for nighttime. 

3. Waterproof products: This is one area where it pays off to spend a bit more money if you are absolutely set on having your makeup last through any possible floods, tsunamis and other similar-in-nature but presumably less dramatic events. With waterproof formulas, you get what you pay for. Anything from Make Up Forever's Aqua line will not fail you in emergency water situations (getting tossed/pushed/pulled randomly into any nearby pool/ocean has become something of a regular occurrence for me). Hourglass makes a great waterproof bronzer (a unique idea, to be sure. But I'll take it).

4. Eyebrows: (PSA of the day) there are so many unfortunate eyebrow situations where they're too heavily done (or end up as meager substitutes for the eyebrows themselves, but that's an entirely different subject). Although thick eyebrows are in, they should look naturally full rather than resemble an oddly villainous upside-down Nike check. An eyebrow pencil should be sharp, lightly dispense product (kind of like a H-grade pencil, for the artists out there) and an ashy brown works best for dark hair. Use short, light strokes in the direction of hair growth, with more emphasis on the arch and fade the color out when you get to the beginning of the eyebrow (the part closest to the nose). It looks scary when people don't fade it out (and loads of people don't). Finish it off with a tinted eyebrow gel, with more emphasis on the part near beginning (ideally you will want to be able to see the individual hairs at that part).

Cream vs. Powder:
Cream products are great for eyes, but stick to powder for face products (e.g. bronzers, blush) because cream products typically wipe off more easily than powder (am I the only one who finds most of my Nars Multiple chilling on my phone/palm within 2 hours of application?) Otherwise, there's not much difference between the two; it ultimately comes down to product performance and what you like.

- Dark brown eyeliner (and lashes, if you can find them. Most of MAC's false eyelashes are dark brown)
- Oil-blotting sheets instead of powder
- Setting your makeup, then setting it again (and again).  If I'm doing heavy makeup (hello, long club nights and music festivals), then I like to set my foundation, then my eyeshadow, then all over (setting the makeup several times at different stages). Coupled with good face and eye primers, my makeup will not budge; I barely have to do touch ups. I actually spend just as much time priming, prepping and setting my makeup as I do applying it, if I really want it to stay the hell on. And it will stay the hell on. Preparation is everything! MAC's Fix+ and Urban Decay's De-Slick are my favorites.
- Lipstains and stain balms instead of lipstick. (Stains are my new thing. No lipstick teeth! Lipstick-unfriendly foods!) Having said this, a bright, matte lip looks good too.
- Using your fingers to apply foundation and eyeshadow. Ditch the fancy brushwork. The foundation will blend better with your skin, and eyeshadow shouldn't look too perfect nor sharp for summer, which can happen if you use makeup brushes. It is also super convenient. And kind of fun.
- Not giving a flying fuck. In order to get away with being ridiculous, one must first acknowledge the boundaries of good taste, then proceed to break them with cocksure impunity.

This shit works. I've been happily gallivanting around in full cosmetic regalia year in, year out, dancing the night away at music festivals with no incident, 32-degree weather be damned. Sadly, my "fine, I'll come in the water but ruin my face and you die" speech isn't seen so much as a threat than a challenge for my brotherhood of inebriated hooligans (one which of course, they gleefully accept). I have been unceremoniously dunked into bodies of water in varying sizes/locations and emerged, face fully intact, albeit sporting sopping wet hair and an intense desire for revenge that consumes every fiber of my weak and runtish being. Cake away, dear friends. Barring any lame Marie-Antoinette references, summer cake can definitely be a thing. 

May 13, 2013

lose myself A$AP


Note: we usually do our own photography, however these group shots are not credited to an extremely talented tripod, but rather to our dear friend Linda Vu. Visit her tumblr here.

Vanessa: Forever21, Claire's, H&M necklaces; custom dogtags from army surplus store; H&M, Queen Baby, Tobi, and random bracelets; Forever21, thrifted and vintage random rings; thrifted sunglasses; H&M bandeau top; shorts from Bangkok vendor; custom flower crown

Dané: H&M necklace; Brandy Melville and J. Crew bracelets; Ray Ban wayfarers; Urban Outfitters top; Calvin Klein underwear; shorts from Bangkok vendor; custom flower crown  

"Less is more" is a rule that's immensely satisfying to break. We gathered colorful toys and bubble making apparatuses like a pair of delighted magpies, butchered a cruel amount of flowers to throw into the bathtub, and I scrambled around my house minutes prior to camera time, unceremoniously affixing necklaces, bracelets and God-knows-what upon my person in a positively savage manner. The result? A chaotic frenzy that reflects the unmitigated amount of childish enjoyment that came with creating this post.

All outfit posts involve a certain degree of planning and effort (anyone who says it's 100% candid is lying out of the dirtiest bodily orifice they own), and with this one we decided, to say the very least, to go over the top. From sacrificing two hours and risking carpal tunnel to make the flower crowns (which I do plan on wearing everywhere to milk every drop of hard work that's gone into it), to spending way too much time than it's cool to admit at Lush picking out the perfect bath bombs, this shoot (as you may well have deduced by this point), was not at all your typical "oh gee, you seem to have caught me on a particularly fashionable day, tally-ho!" fashion blogger post -- but it was exponentially more fun and I daresay, slightly more entertaining in terms of being part of the visual fodder that makes up so much of the internet. Our hopster-head-plus-raver-girl-gone-nuts-in-a-bathtub-pre-festival spiel isn't too realistic in a literal sense, but does represent us in a completely genuine, albeit slightly exaggerated way (three guesses as to who's who).

Staged or not, we had a f**king awesome time. Please enjoy accordingly.